Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How should I look at this?

Yesterday, I was visited here by someone who works (it was a company ISP, but that doesn't rule out living in the town as well) in the town WHERE I LIVE, which is NOT a huge town. Now, my first reaction was mini-freak out. Does this person know me? Will this person recognize my kids at the grocery store or the Target? Do we go to the same restaurants? Could this be one of my kids' friends' mothers? What is the potential anonymity compromise here? But then I thought, "so what?" I have no family here, and those are the only ones that I'm really wanting to keep unaware of this place. Not that there is anything INCRIMINATING, but just because I present more of a friends persona here than a family persona. There is the protecting my kids issue, of course, in that while I do post pictures of my kids, I do not give any specific location-identifiers such as a school name or mascot. Most likely this person is just another mom and is completely non-threatening. Whoever it is got here from Swistle rather than a search and appears to be gainfully employed at an insurance company with the word "Mutual" in it's name. So I'm going to assume everything's cool, especially since I know where he/she works. :) If you live in a relatively small town where, even if it's a big city suburb and is pretty built-up, lots of people know one another and it's not unusual to run into people you know on a regular basis, what would your reaction be if one day you checked your statistics and saw a visit from your town? Oh, and if you're looking at this and thinking, "I think she's talking about ME," email me. Maybe we can grab lunch sometime. That is, if you don't mind a toddler with unpredictable behavior tagging along.

9 comments:

Shelly said...

I would totally look at it as a potential friend. If she's reading your blog (especially if she visits more than once or leaves comments), then most likely she likes you. I would email her and ask about meeting in person.

Nowheymama said...

I don't hide my identity, and aside from family who know about the blog, I've had only ONE person visit from my town and that was because she wanted to know about food allergy resources in our area. I'd say the chances are very good that it's a potential friend.

Jess said...

I don't hide my identity at all. I am still waiting for the day when I get recognized on the street!

Fiona Picklebottom said...

shelly - I don't have her (?) email address, just the stuff the statistics tell me.

I don't really hide my identity, per se. I mean, I post pictures and all, but I do try to be non-searchable in an identifiable way. In other words, no names, places, etc. that a potential internet bad-guy could use to find us. I am NOT saying that I think this is a bad-guy. I'm saying that it took me aback for a moment, and I had to think about what I thought about it.

Susiewearsthepants said...

Ugh! What a predicament. I would just keep watching and see if the person comes back or tries to make any contact, then take it from there.

Swistle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen @ the cubicle's backporch said...

The visits locally don't really bother me. It's the search engine terms that are very obviously directed towards my blog!!

Swistle said...

I think it's likely to be a total coincidence. I have a lot of readers from my geographical location, and I doubt any of them have any idea that that's the case: they just found me randomly online and don't know we shop at the same Target.

So what I do is, I don't post identifying information about THEM, that would clue THEM in to what I know about our proximity. That way, I keep my privacy. Your visitor might not have had any idea that the two of you lived in the same town--but he/she knows now, so NOW your privacy is compromised. Unless you're more thinking along the lines of what Shelly said, which is that this is Friend Potential.

Alice said...

i tried to be quasi-anonymous (i mean, obviously i post my picture, but i tried to keep my last name out of it) but that has failed miserably. :-)